Author Topic: Modelling Mars  (Read 122645 times)

Offline Archibald

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #440 on: 03/09/2016 10:35 AM »
Very interesting answer Ranulf. I'd say (for Clinton) why not a joint lunar base using a modified MEM + Soyuz / Moonlab experience ? Kind of ISS on the Moon...

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #441 on: 03/09/2016 05:16 PM »
Very interesting answer Ranulf. I'd say (for Clinton) why not a joint lunar base using a modified MEM + Soyuz / Moonlab experience ? Kind of ISS on the Moon...

Well the original goal was to have Clinton be the one to commit to a new Mars mission before York is to old to go back which is what Ronpur50 had in mind. Myself I'm arguing that's probably not going to happen. I can see Clinton suggesting a joint Lunar base or extended expeditions but I don't see Congress paying for it. There's a reason the ISS is what it is and was done the way it was.

Following that "logic" I think if Clinton said Mars, Congress would probably spring for the Moon or LEO. Pessimist me says LEO, but optimist me says they'd probably go for the Moon at this point. It really depends on what Russia can handle at the time.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #442 on: 03/09/2016 05:31 PM »
I am leaning that way myself now.  An ISS on the Moon or in orbit of it would be very likely.  I can see York tirelessly campaigning to return.  Her frustrations growing, knowing she may never return, but just hopes to see someone return in her lifetime. 

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #443 on: 03/18/2016 12:31 PM »
One week before the landing of Ares, President Ronald Reagan is seen meeting former President John F. Kennedy in the White House to discuss the mission and the future of NASA.  Kennedy was helped to the chair from his wheelchair by his aides for the photo.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #444 on: 03/21/2016 10:00 PM »
31 years ago today. 

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #445 on: 03/23/2016 11:48 PM »
After over a year in space, Mars would have been looking quite large as Ares approached.

Cameras would have been snapping pictures and live video...delayed of course...would have been streaming on the TV networks and CNN.  The excitement must have been huge!

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #446 on: 03/24/2016 07:20 PM »
A view from the on board camera on Ares as it maneuvers to enter orbit 30 years ago tomorrow.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #447 on: 03/25/2016 11:29 AM »
Mission Elapsed Time [Day/Hr:Min:Sec] Plus 369/09:27:26 (March 25, 1986)
“Five minutes to the burn.”
She was sealed into her suit, shut in with the hiss of oxygen, the whir of fans, the scratch of her own breathing. She felt isolated, cut off. Lousy design. I need to hold somebody’s hand.
“Okay, Ralph,” Stone said. “Translation control power, on.”
“On.”
“Rotational hand controller number two, armed.”
“Armed.”
“Okay. Stand by for the primary TVC check.”
“Pressures coming up nicely,” Gershon said. “Everything is great…”
A hundred feet behind them, the big MS-II injection stage was rousing from its long, interplanetary hibernation. Heaters in the big cryogenic tanks were boiling off vapor, bringing up a pressure sufficient to force propellant and oxidizer out of the tanks, and Stone and Gershon were running tests of the sequence which would bring the hydrogen and oxygen into explosive combination inside the combustion chambers of the four J-2S engines.
In the window above her, she could see a segment of a circle: bone white in the starlight, quite precise, immense.
“…Oh, my God.”
Stone twisted, awkward in his suit, and peered over his shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
“Look at that. I think it’s Hellas.” The deepest impact crater on Mars. And white, with its frozen lake of carbon dioxide. Somewhere in there, the Soviets had set down Mars 9.
Stone grunted. “You’re going to be looking at that for a long time.” He turned his back, his disapproval evident, and resumed the preburn checklist with Gershon.
“Thirty seconds,” Stone said. “Everything is looking nominal. Still go for MOI.”
He placed his gloved hand over the big plastic firing button.
The whole burn was automated, York knew, controlled by computers in the cluster’s Instrumentation Unit, the big doughnut of electronics behind the Mission Module. Multiple computers, endlessly checking everything and backing each other up and taking polls among themselves. It was hard to see what could go wrong. Nevertheless, Stone sat there with his hand on the button, ready to take over if he had to. To York, it looked comical — and yet, somehow heroic as well. Touching.
“Twenty seconds,” Stone said. “Brace, guys.”
“All systems are go for MOI,” Gershon said.
York checked her own racks. “Roger, go.”
She checked the restraints across her chest, rapidly, and settled her head against her canvas headrest. She tried to make sure there were no creases or folds in the thick layers of the pressure suit under her legs or back.
She felt her heart pound, and chill sweat broke out across her cheeks and under her chin.
“T minus ten seconds,” Gershon said.
Stone’s hands hovered over his controls.
“Eight seconds.”
“I got a 99,” Stone said. He pushed a button. “Press to proceed.”
York felt air rush out of her in a sigh.
“Six seconds,” Gershon said. “Five, four. Ullage.”
There was a brief rattle, a sharp kick in the small of her back. Eight small solid-fuel rockets, clustered around the base of the MS-II, had given the booster a small shove, helping the propellants settle in their tanks.
Gershon said, “Two. One. Ignition.”

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #448 on: 03/25/2016 11:30 AM »
Mission Elapsed Time [Day/Hr:Min:Sec] Plus 369/09:27:26 (March 25, 1986)

Stone and Gershon began to run through a readout of the status of the maneuver so far.
“Burn time four four five.” Four minutes, forty-five seconds. Halfway through. “Ten values on the angles: BGX minus point one, BGY minus point one, BGZ plus point one…” Velocity errors on the burn were amounting to only a foot per second, along each of the three axes of space. “No trim. Minus six point eight delta-vee-cee. Fuel thirty-eight point eight. Lox thirty-nine zip, plus fifty on balance. We ran an increase on the PUGS. Projected for a two nineteen point nine times twelve six eleven point three…”
York translated the numbers in her head. The burn was working. The cluster was heading for an elliptical orbit, two hundred by twelve thousand miles: almost perfect.
“Hey, Natalie.” It was Gershon.
“What?”
“Look up.”
With an effort, she tilted back her head. The helmet restricted her, and under the acceleration her skull felt as if it had been replaced by a ball of concrete, tearing at her neck muscles.
Through her small window she saw the battered southern plain of Mars.
And the bulging landscape above her was lit up, right at the center, by a soft, pink glow; it was like a highlight on a huge, ocher bowling ball.
It was the glow of the burn, the light of the MS-II.
For the first time in the planet’s four-billion-year history, artificial light had come to the Martian night.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #449 on: 03/25/2016 12:12 PM »
Ares was in orbit, but the Voyage was not over yet!

Offline Archibald

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #450 on: 03/25/2016 12:53 PM »
Quote
For the first time in the planet’s four-billion-year history, artificial light had come to the Martian night.

THIS is the kind of moments that make Voyage such a great novel

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #451 on: 03/26/2016 02:28 AM »
 The fat, faithful MS-II injection engine was still evidently the stack’s center of gravity — though the two External Tanks were long discarded — and ahead of it was fixed the slim MS-IVB stage which would brake them back into Earth orbit. The whole of Endeavour, their cylindrical Mission Module with its solar array wings, had been separated from the MS-IVB, turned around and redocked nose first; the idea was to free up the MEM from its shroud at the Mission Module’s base. Meanwhile Discovery, their Apollo, was docked to a lateral port, so it dangled sideways from the Mission Module, like a berry from the line of fuel-tank cylinders.
When Challenger returned to Martian orbit, the MEM would be discarded, and the remaining modules — booster stages, Mission Module, and Apollo — would be reassembled, once more, in a straight line, for the burn home.
The cluster was a collection of cylinders and boxes and panels, crudely assembled — and clumsily repositioned since their entry into Martian orbit. To York, all the orbital construction work — sliding modules through space like kids’ construction blocks — was unnerving. When they separated the Mission Module from the boosters, they were cutting themselves loose from their only ride home, for God’s sake! But she understood that there were backup strategies at every stage, ways they could reassemble some kind of configuration that could tolerate a ride home, even if they lost the landing.
« Last Edit: 03/26/2016 02:29 AM by Ronpur50 »

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #452 on: 03/27/2016 02:41 PM »
Mission Elapsed Time [Day/Hr:Min:Sec] Plus 371/01:32:30 (March 27, 1986)
Gershon gave Challenger’s attitude control rockets a final blip, a squirt to make sure they were functional.
Solenoids thumped.
“Everything is copacetic, guys.”
Stone’s face, behind his scuffed faceplate, was set, almost grim. “Good. Then let’s get the hell on with it,” he said.
Gershon grinned.
With a clatter of explosive bolts, Challenger kicked free of the rest of Ares. Then came a brief burn of the retropack, the small solid rocket cluster strapped to the base of the MEM.
The burn knocked Challenger into a new, low orbit around Mars.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #453 on: 03/27/2016 02:45 PM »
Challenger was committed to Mars.
Suddenly she got an unwelcome sense of perspective, a feeling of how small and fragile the little capsule was. It was different from landing on Earth. On Earth you were descending toward an inhabited planet, toward oceans full of ships waiting to pick you up.
Out here there were only the three of them, jammed up against each other in their little pod, descending toward a dead world. So far from Earth they couldn’t even see it. Out here, they weren’t closing off their journey, coming home; out there, they were pushing out still farther, into extremes of technological capability and risk, so far from Earth that Mission Control couldn’t even speak to them in real time. It was like climbing the ladder one more rung.
But what York felt was not fear, but mostly relief. Another abort threshold crossed. The farther the mission went, the fewer things were left to go wrong.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #454 on: 03/27/2016 02:47 PM »
PGNS released the craft from the landing program, and Challenger began its final descent.
He picked a little gully, just beyond the landing point, to use as a reference for the craft’s height and motion, and he stared at the gully as he worked toward killing his horizontal velocity. The MEM had to land straight down, with no sideways motion. Otherwise, the touchdown might break off a landing leg.
There was a haze of dust all around the craft, billowing up, obscuring his view, adhering to the window in great ocher streaks.
“Thirty seconds.”
“Any forward drift?”
“You’re okay. Hundred up. Down at three and a half.”
The haze was all around him. And now he could see dust flying away from him in all directions, scouring over the surface. The streaks confused his perception of his motion, the way fog blowing across a runway could sometimes. But he could see a big rock, sticking up through the haze, and he focused on that.
“Sixty feet. Down two. Two forward. Two forward. Good.”
He clicked the descent toggle, killing the speed, until Challenger was floating toward Mars as slow as a feather.
“Fifty feet. Thirty. Down two and a half. We’re kicking up a lot of dust.”
I can see that, damn it. The MEM was drifting backwards, and Gershon couldn’t tell why. And going backwards was bad, because he couldn’t see where he was going. He pulsed the hand controls.
“Twenty.”
Well, he’d killed the backward motion, but a sideways drift had crept in. Fuck. He was frakked with himself. He wasn’t flying his bird smoothly at all.
“Four degrees forward. Three forward. Drifting left a little. Faint shadow.”
The shadow closed up, and dust billowed, so he couldn’t see the ground anymore. He struggled to get the MEM vertical.
He kept falling, blind.
“Four forward. Three forward. Down a half. Drifting left.”
Gershon felt a soft bump.
“Contact light,” Stone said. “Contact light, by God!”
For one second, Gershon stared at Stone.
Then he killed the descent engine, fast.
The vibration that had accompanied the engine firing, all the way down through the powered descent, faded at last. He should have cut it as soon as the contact light came up; if the engine kept firing too close to the surface the back pressure from its own exhaust could blow it up…
Challenger fell the last five feet, and impacted on Mars with a firm thud. Gershon felt the landing in his knees, and every piece of gear in the cabin rattled.
“Shit,” he said.
Stone started to rattle through the post-touchdown checklist. “Engine stop. ACA out of detent.”
“Out of detent.”
“Mode control both auto. Descent engine command override off. Engine arm off…”
They got through the T plus one checkpoint, their first stay/no-stay decision.
And then they had the ship buttoned up tight, and it looked like they could stay for a while.
Out of Gershon’s window there was a flat, close horizon. He could see dunes, and dust, and little rocks littering the surface. Nothing was moving, anywhere. Without buildings, or people or trees, it was hard to tell the scale of things. The sky was yellow-brown, the sun small and yellow and low. The light coming in the window was a mix of pink and brown, and he could see how it reflected off his visor, and off the flesh of his own cheeks.
Martian light, on his face.
He saw Stone grin, behind his faceplate. “Houston, this is Mangala Valles. Challenger has landed on Mars.” Gershon could hear the confident elation in his voice.
Gershon and Stone and York shook hands, and slapped each other on the back, and threw mock punches at each other’s helmets.
Gershon said, “Houston, can you pass on my regards to Columbia Aviation. This old Edsel has brought us down. JK, you are one steely-eyed missile man.”
He checked his station. He had fourteen seconds of landing fuel left. Well, the hell with it. Fourteen seconds is a long time. Armstrong himself only had about twenty seconds left, and nobody beefed about that.
Anyhow, it’s going to be a long time before anyone comes back, to better what I did today.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #455 on: 03/27/2016 02:50 PM »
Suddenly she got an unwelcome sense of perspective, a feeling of how small and fragile the little capsule was. It was different from landing on Earth. On Earth you were descending toward an inhabited planet, toward oceans full of ships waiting to pick you up.
Out here there were only the three of them, jammed up against each other in their little pod, descending toward a dead world. So far from Earth they couldn’t even see it. Out here, they weren’t closing off their journey, coming home; out there, they were pushing out still farther, into extremes of technological capability and risk, so far from Earth that Mission Control couldn’t even speak to them in real time. It was like climbing the ladder one more rung.

Online mike robel

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #456 on: 03/27/2016 04:44 PM »
great stuff Ron!

Offline Archibald

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #457 on: 03/27/2016 05:36 PM »
Quote
“Contact light, by God!”
For one second, Gershon stared at Stone.

The moment when the unflappable Commander Phil Stone cracks open and give away some emotion  ;D
« Last Edit: 03/27/2016 05:37 PM by Archibald »

Offline AlexA

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #458 on: 03/30/2016 11:40 AM »
After over a year in space, Mars would have been looking quite large as Ares approached.

Cameras would have been snapping pictures and live video...delayed of course...would have been streaming on the TV networks and CNN.  The excitement must have been huge!

The mission module solar panels seem to be edge-on to the sun in this shot - not much good for power generation! If one assumes they can't rotate (as per SkyLab I believe), would the Ares stack have spent most of it's journey 'flying sideways'?
Related question, would the MM need a radiator? On SkyLab this was at the base, which is not available on Ares.

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: Modelling Mars
« Reply #459 on: 03/30/2016 03:26 PM »


After over a year in space, Mars would have been looking quite large as Ares approached.

Cameras would have been snapping pictures and live video...delayed of course...would have been streaming on the TV networks and CNN.  The excitement must have been huge!

The mission module solar panels seem to be edge-on to the sun in this shot - not much good for power generation! If one assumes they can't rotate (as per SkyLab I believe), would the Ares stack have spent most of it's journey 'flying sideways'?
Related question, would the MM need a radiator? On SkyLab this was at the base, which is not available on Ares.

Yep, it would have spent most of the flight sideways, except when they needed to do course changes.  The chrome on the outside of the MM on my model is supposed to be the radiators, of a type that looks like the shuttles.  I don't think Baxter mentioned them.

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